Postgame Dispatch: Unlikely Heat role player steps up in road win over Warriors

Jamal Cain and other fringe rotation players stepped up in place of Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry to lead the Heat to a win in Golden State.
Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors
Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Miami Heat kicked off their five game road trip on Thursday night with a showdown at the Chase Center against the Golden State Warriors.

Despite being down two starters in Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry along with two rotation players in Caleb Martin and Josh Richardson, Miami was still able to pick up a convincing 114-102 victory and snap the Warriors' eight-game home winning streak.

Jamal Cain and other fringe rotation players stepped up in place of Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry to lead the Heat to a win in Golden State.

Game Ball: Jamal Cain

With the wing rotation being more thin than ever, Jamal Cain filled in and made an impact as soon as he checked in. While many can just look at stats and see Cain tied his career high with 18 points to go with six rebounds, Cain's impact went beyond the box score.

In many instances, Cain was relentless on the glass, earning the Heat second-chance possessions and also fighting for 50/50 rebounds on the defensive side to complete defensive stops.

But the most impressive part about Cain's performance was his defensive effort while guarding one of the most prolific scorers in the game, Stephen Curry.

When guarding Curry, Cain did a great job of making sure Curry did not see any clean looks and used his length to his advantage. For the night, Curry finished with 13 points on 3 for 15 shooting, and Cain played a key role in Curry's bad night. Curry was 0 for 4 with Cain guarding him, according to tracking data.

Stat of the game: 7 turnovers

Stephen Curry, Jamal Cain
Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

When playing against the Warriors, the last thing that Miami could afford to do was turn the ball over at a high rate and have Curry and Klay Thompson shooting open 3s in transition.

But even without their floor general in Kyle Lowry and playing a brand new starting five, the Heat only turned the ball over seven times to Golden State's 13. At halftime, the Heat only had one turnover compared to Golden State's nine.

Seven turnovers ties a season low for the Heat, who's last single-digit turnover game came on Dec. 6 win in Toronto.

Miami's offense was flowing well, with many assists coming off of dribble penetration and also finding players in transition or cutting to the basket.

In a game where players who aren't usually in the rotation such as R.J. Hampton, Nikola Jovic and Jamal Cain played significant minutes, it was very impressive to see Miami put together a relatively clean performance.

Highlight of the Night: Bam Adebayo climbs the ladder to finish the lob

Early in the third quarter, R.J. Hampton threw up a lob for Bam Adebayo that would have been out of reach for most players to catch. And unless Adebayo was the height of Yao Ming, there was no way he was going to be able to dunk the ball.

Instead, Adebayo reached back, got the tips of his fingers on the ball and guided it towards the backboard.

Not only was the degree of difficulty very high, but the lob also came at an important time in the game. Prior to the Adebayo tip drill, Golden State was able to score on three straight possessions with the third being a Curry and-one which cut the Heat lead to three.

The three-point deficit was the closest the Warriors got, as Adebayo's lob extended the Heat's lead to five and they never looked back.

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